Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Philosophy

Committee Chair

Christopher J. Preston

Commitee Members

Deborah Slicer, Peter Landres


ecofeminism, imperium, wilderness, wildness


University of Montana


Modern culture has not yet learned to live in harmony with the rest of the natural world. This is largely because we are afflicted with inadequate institutions and personal habits. These habits and institutions are also responsible for many social ills – sexism, homophobia, etc. In particular, “the imperium” is a way of thinking and acting which encourages us to practice a heavy-handed form of standardization; it encourages us to ignore particularity. These habits and institutions – the imperium – are a result of, and reinforced by, our interpersonal interactions. The standardization of these interactions drains the wildness out of them. But to relate to an other in an ethical manner, I must assume that the other is wild, with its own integrity, will, and path. Because our experiences in wilderness are radically different than our experiences outside wilderness, the wilderness can instill in us different, better habits and understanding of relationships. In particular, the wildness of wilderness shows us the falseness of the standardized ideas and beliefs. This wildness also causes us to forge new habits of relating to others, and new beliefs about relationships and others. These new habits are social benefits, especially once we allow them to reform our identity.



© Copyright 2009 Michael Joseph Aloi